In case you missed it, I broke down four of the Diamondbacks’ potential draft targets for Thursday’s draft on Saturday. As more information is coming out and we’re learning who teams are tied to, a few things are becoming clear. It doesn’t look like RHP Braden Shipley of Nevada and SS JP Crawford from a California HS will be available come pick 15 when Arizona makes its first selection. They were perhaps longshots to fall to the Diamondbacks in the first place and it appears that they won’t last long on draft day.
First baseman Dominic Smith from a California HS is still a possibility but could very well disappear right before the Diamondbacks can nab him. If that’s the case, I mentioned OF Aaron Judge from Fresno State as backup plan. I’d like to add two other names to that list should Shipley, Crawford and Smith all be off the board.
The first is Arkansas RHP Ryne Stanek. He boasts a prototypical pitcher’s frame that still has room to fill out and as he adds strength, he main gain a little more velocity. He already throws in the mid 90’s with ease and while he doesn’t boast amazing stuff or control, he simply knows how to pitch. Although he had a very solid career at Arkansas, he’s still projectable and should develop into a solid number two pitcher down the road. His ceiling is that of a true ace, but is floor is high and the Diamondbacks would likely have a quick mover on their hands if they select him.
Perfect Game Video: Ryne Stanek
The second name I want to mention is RHP Alex Gonzalezof Oral Roberts
University. He’s shot up draft boards in recent days and while some analysts are divided on him, there are clearly some teams that are enamored with him. One of those teams is reportedly our beloved Diamondbacks. Gonzalez doesn’t have a ton of velocity but can throw three quality pitches for strikes and has the “it” factor. He simply knows how to get hitters out and is advanced even for a college arm. Durable during his days at Oral Roberts, he’s gaining a lot of attention right before the draft and his stock couldn’t be any higher. If he can improve his changeup and add it to his fastball/slider combo, watch out.
Big League Futures Video: Alex Gonzalez